Mar 17, 2023 - Things to Do

A dessert guide to the Houston Rodeo

Photo of three cake calls with whipped cream and blueberries in front of a booth named El Patio

Tres leches balls are possibly the best dessert at the rodeo. Photo: Shafaq Patel/Axios

Rodeo season is almost over, and the grand champion steer competition this weekend will likely bring a large crowd — and long lines.

Driving the news: I ate a ton of desserts so you'd know which booths are worth the long lines.

Funnel cakes and fried candies: I'd recommend going to Sills Funnel Cakes for your fried-dessert needs. The red-velvet funnel cake looked like it was out of a zombie film, but it was warm, fluffy and checked all the boxes.

  • I asked the staff which item was the most popular and they said fried Snickers — and for good reason. It was the perfect gooey dessert. Commit to the Snickers unless you have a peanut allergy.
  • Skip Piche Concessions, no matter how delicious the sundae funnel cake photo looks. For one, it was $17. Plus, the funnel cake, and their fried Reese's and Snickers, were dry and not optimally fluffy and warm.

Baklava: I don't know what compelled me to try a Mediterranean dessert at the rodeo, but save yourself the disappointment. While the Greek Grill's baklava was a generous portion, it was soggy and very different to the delicious baklavas I've tasted before.

Tres leches balls: This might be the best dessert I tried. While El Patio Mexican Restaurant's tres leches balls did not have the soft, milky consistency of tres leches, they did taste amazing and paired well with the whipped cream and blueberries. (Think: cake balls that are tres leches flavored.)

  • Plus: You can grab food and dessert at the same booth, saving you more time.

Cinnamon rolls: I'm not a cinnamon rolls fanatic, but even I fell for the Crown Cinnamon Rolls II take on the pastry. The rolls — perfectly airy— were not too cinnamon-y and the toppings weren't too overpowering.

The bottom line: Wrangle in your friends and get them to join you on your rodeo dessert adventure.

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